DPS officer Bruce Harrolle to be remembered with hike on Bear Mo - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

DPS officer Bruce Harrolle to be remembered with hike on Bear Mountain

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SEDONA, Ariz. -

October 13 won't be just any old Sunday for the people who knew and loved Bruce Harrolle.
       
They will get up and early and hike a Sedona mountain and remember the 36-year-old, who gave his live to keep others safe.

The pictures of DPS Officer Medic Bruce Harrolle doing his job show a man living his dream.

The 36 year old had a fierce love for Arizona, even the heat.

In pictures his dedication to this community, love for his job, and passion for helping those in trouble is apparent.

Five years ago, on October 13, 2008, that passion was tragically cut short.

While he was helping two hikers in trouble on Bear Mountain in Sedona, a blade from the rescue helicopter struck and killed DPS officer paramedic Bruce Harrolle.

Days later, his wife Angela and two young children, along with the first responders, said a wrenching good-bye along with a grateful community.  

Five years have passed and though Bruce Harrolle is gone, his goodness and his ability to care for and give to the people in Arizona didn't die on bear mountain that day.

"We start each day with a smile and a loving memory and true gratitude for those who support public safety," said Angela Harrolle, Bruce's wife.

If she looks familiar in the video above, perhaps you've seen her on TV.

Her efforts led to a bill this year providing health insurance for the families of fallen officers.     
     
you will see her championing fundraisers for the 100 Club of Arizona.

An event earlier in October raised money for the families of the fallen Granite Mountain Hotshots.  Her loss makes her an eloquent spokesperson for the cause.

"It's events like these that really help to continue to show that community that they're really truly are loved and are being supported and people will continue to think about them despite the fact that time is passing," said Harrolle.  

"Angela, she's one of the ones that helps make notifications to other family members that have had tragedy strike their lives. She's always there to help people," said Russ Dodge, with DPS

Every October, Bruce Harrolle's family and friends, and strangers are invited too, hike up Bear Mountain in Sedona to remember him and honor his sacrifice.

Angela Harrolle, along with Bruce's friend and DPS co-worker Russ Dodge are working to get a small memorial plaque placed at the base of the mountain where Bruce died.

"Having some place for people to go to remember the sacrifice that he gave is really important to our family. The accident happened two and a half miles up a mountain. It's not a place that people can get to," said Harrolle.                

It is a bureaucratic challenge to get a plaque placed on Tonto Forest land, but the two keep trying.

"Whatever it may be, whatever we can get approval on, just something to remind people of that sacrifice of our public safety officers. They exist all over the state of Arizona. It would be nice to have something in Sedona where he took his last breath," said Harrolle.

A plaque at the trailhead of Bear Mountain would not only honor Bruce Harrolle and his sacrifice, but both say the plaque will also remind people that while breathtakingly beautiful, these mountains are not a walk in the park.

They are challenging and unforgiving.

"Just a reminder to people of the hazards and consequences of their decisions. Some of the things that happen, if you're into prepared to go into the location you're at or you're not familiar with the territory, but more just honor the man that he was the co-worker, the father, the paramedic, for me it was a friend," said Dodge.

After the tragedy, Angela received a letter from one of the hikers her husband was rescuing the night he was killed.

"At the end of the letter that I got from the female hiker, she said, 'I want you to know he died looking into the warm Arizona sun,' and I thought that was so healing, that simple word was so healing," said Harrolle.

Healing, as is the memorial hike each year.

Dodge says someone always catches a picture during the hike that shows a beam of light over Bear Mountain.

Angela Harrolle and the other hikers say that is Bruce shining on.

"We really just believe every day that he is our guardian angel watching over us and watching over the crews here," said Harrolle.

The Bruce Harrolle Memorial hike is scheduled for Sunday.

It is an upbeat positive event. If you can't make it out, but want to show your support for law enforcement in this community, the 100 Club is a great place to give.
    
FOX 10 called the Forest Service about the memorial plaque.

The public information officer has been furloughed due to the government shutdown so no answers for now.

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